Self-sufficiency, prestige, success and wealth, is not true uniqueness, not identity, is not an expression of personhood. It is separateness.
Separateness is being estranged from life. It is being lost to the needs, loves, living and dying of every other creature.
It is being lost in a distant light without the light’s fire.
It is being wrapped in the hunger of the spirit without its sustenance.
The Self is unique and sacred, yet its fullest expression is embracing the other, to deny its separateness, and become the two as One. The two as One in love.
The soul hungers to know itself as love, and there is nothing in all the world’s riches that can satisfy that hunger-
Yet every moment of longing for the other brings the heart to know itself in-love, and quiets the soul’s unrest.

The eye still sees but is blind from staring at the dark face of God, blind from searching the abyss over which all flesh must pass but from which it can never return; a landscape that can only be seen by those who have given up their seeing for the blessings of the unseen-
for though the eye can trace the image of all that it sees, it is only witness to a brief moment, a moment too fleeting to grasp and hold. And all too quickly gone.

The most solid of forms, the most familiar faces, become a landscape of a close and shimmering distance, leaving but the softness of a shadow to hold.
Memory is filled with loss, as all things become that to which we lay claim, but can never keep,
and the future a mere dream from which we will awake,
only to discover that all has changed as we slept.

Love and its insistent memory of loving again and once again, is the thread by which life weaves its body, while each night it is undone by the gentle fingers of time for the sake of again becoming the One that speaks as one in me, that we two may become One in love.

And the only sure paths are those that wind straight ahead, humble and near, where the unique finds its name as Life in this blessed earthy flesh, where everything is close,
as close as the bone,
as close as the breath,
as close as God.

 

David Russell OFS,
Assisi